Remembering God in the Mundane

I woke up this morning knowing that I had way too much to do with the limited amount of time I would be awake. Even getting up early, I suspected I would leave things undone. Why does this bother me so much, I wonder?

Given that I care for several little ones at my house – all of them under two years old – the fact that I even bother to create a list of to-do’s beyond “Keep tummies full, bottoms clean and noses wiped” is probably a good indicator of functional insanity. I really do know this. And yet I do it every day…over and over and over again.

This morning, as I prayed for myself, my husband and our kids, I asked that God would direct my thoughts, my words and my actions such that of all the things that were on my mind to get accomplished, that those He had His eye on would be the ones that rose to the top.

And then I then turned right around and made my list of agenda items for the day. (Can you guess what was at the top of the list? “Edit and post blog to ESI.”)

As my morning progressed, though, my priority of “edit and post blog” began to slip further toward the bottom of my list as more compelling needs rose to the surface and other human beings dared to usurp my blogging downtime. I was tempted to stress about missing deadline, being faithful to this regular commitment I’ve made to The Crossing. I was tempted to be frustrated that my day wasn’t going as planned.

I’ve certainly succumbed to that temptation many times before. Even now, as I sit here at 3:00 p.m., I realize that I allowed myself to forget – yet again – to seek after God’s will in the mundane details of my day. I’d asked Him to be involved in those details, to guide and direct my steps, hadn’t I? But as I look back on my day now, I think I was guilty of saying “God, let my priorities be Your priorities” but of really meaning, “God, let Your priorities for my day be what I think they should be be, and if You’d step in and use Your power to work my agenda list through me, that would be great!”

First thing this morning, I asked for God’s help in orienting my day, and then, just like someone who looks at herself in the mirror and immediately forgets what she looks like (James 1:22-24), I went about planning my day, fully expecting it to go my way, instead of expectantly living as though God had something to say about it.

I’ve been studying the Book of James lately, as part of a Beth Moore study being offered on Tuesday mornings through Women’s Ministry at The Crossing. My original post was going to be about how very much I’ve been “converted” – somewhat reluctantly – into a fan of Beth Moore’s style of teaching, and even more so her obvious passion for the Word of God. Instead, James’ words are coming back to me throughout my day, reminding me of how we are to live…and also reminding me that I am once again failing to do that very thing.

Sigh. Can anyone relate?

Well, it gets worse. James has something else to say about this persistent problem of mine. He calls it “arrogance” when we make our own plans and fail to acknowledge that we will only accomplish what God wills us to accomplish. (James 4:13-16)

I really do understand that concept, but I also find that I have a hard time remembering in the day-to-day that the God of the Universe, Who created the heavens and the earth, and sustains all of it by His Word (Hebrews 1:3; Colossians 1:17) – galaxies, billions of stars, the earth itself and all that must be in perfect balance to sustain our very lives – also has an interest in orienting the details of my life, assuming that I will actually let Him get a word in edgewise. He keeps track of the number of hairs on our heads (Luke 12:7), and He is very much aware of every single bird that dies (Matthew 10:29).

So as I begin the process of winding down my day, I have purposed to share this one thought with any of you who might find some sort of kinship with me. Christ Jesus is not just our Savior – He is also the Lord of our lives. He cares – very much – how we live our lives, even in the mundane little details. The more we can train ourselves, through His Word, to recognize, accept and live out the reality of His Lordship, the more His peace will be ours (Philippians 4:6-7).

I know that these are obvious statements, but clearly they are also statements that are hard to live out when the baby is crying, the bills need to be paid, and the list of things that need to be done keeps growing longer. I so want this reality to become a settled part of who I am, to seep into my pores and to transform how I live out my mundane little life. I don’t want to be just a hearer of the word, and so show my faith to be useless. I want to be a doer of the word. To that end, I plan to get up tomorrow, pray that God would direct my steps…and then pray that He would give me the presence of mind to remember what I just asked Him for.

James 1:22-25 (ESV)
But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing.

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